Monday, August 06, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!




1.  They've got dead horses, don't they?

2. I don't know. Those Swedes are a little crazy.

3. I must admit: Ketchup packets bug me. Seems like a lot of packaging for very little ketchup, and much of it gets left in the packet. I understand there must be no cheaper way to deliver it, and monitor overuse (ketchup is more expensive than plastic), but ketchup packets bug me. They may not be around much longer.

4. Do WalMart "Supercenters" improve food security? Spoiler alert: For the most part, yes.

5. Trump lied. People yawned.

6.  Manhattan DA to stop prosecuting pot cases, at least for personal possession of small amounts.

7. The real problem is conservative McCarthyism, according to CGK's John Hardin. He is not wrong.

8. That forkin' blockchain...

9.  Mmmmm.....bbq. Best practices. Aluminum foil.

10. Russ Roberts and outrage. (He's against it)

11.  Editing a human.

12.  Is "free" consistent with "freedom"?

13. You probably don't understand the "blockchain." That's okay. Most people don't.

14.  Maduro is one of the very best illustrations of Hayek's "Why the Worst Get on Top." But even this schlomozzle is willing to admit their idiotic approach to socialism has "failed."

15.  It is odd that we have screening for airplanes, and not for water plants, electricity substations, and major highway tunnels. But maybe we won't have so much screening for airlines, at smaller airports at least.

14. Ontario ends UBI experiment, two years early.

15.  Timmy's in the well! Go get help, Lassie. Or at least dig out from the pillows.

16. The end of tipping?

17.  Things may seem bad. But as long as there are ice cream trucks, there is hope. And, there ARE ice cream trucks.

18. Vitruvius.

19.  Predicting fiscal crises.

20.  Measuring output, and prices, and productivity.

21. In the early 1990s I was often told, in condescending tones, that "Europeans are different.  We will have no trouble with opening our borders, because we are multicultural, unlike you reactionary Americans." Well, some Europeans are different. But not many.

22.  Books on speech.

23. Software eats the world. But some claims are, at best, exaggerated.




Grand Lagniappe:  Okay, Millenial Friends. This has totally happened to you, admit it.







Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!



1.  Only in Texas. Smokin' hot tortilla chips. No, really, smokin'. Twice. Or four times.

2.  Vomit fraud, by Uber drivers. It's easy to send a photo, of course. But it wasn't that passenger.  One guy was "lucky" enough to get defrauded twice in one day. Uber decided no one is that full.... 

3.  Our favorite headlines.  That's the Rhode Island version.  Then

4. On immigration, and the first stone....

5.  On the airline seat comfort question, I think the evil airline CEOs have a point.  The default is a relatively roomy, but expensive seat. If you want a DISCOUNT, then you want the smaller seat.  But then you can't complain that the seat is smaller. That's why it's cheaper!  If you don't want the smaller seat, pay the standard price.

6.  Hess's "Triangle of Spite." And more about the Hess Triangle.

7. Ocasio-Cortez, whatever she is, is NOT a socialist.  Our president, on the other hand...

8.  The "hot water challenge." Really? What is wrong with you people?

9.  This is NSFW. It's actually not safe for anything, and you shouldn't watch it. But some of the bad puns are pretty good. Still, you'll never get that  6  minutes back. Don't blame me. But it's a guy using the worst pickup lines in history, badly. What could be wrong with that? For context, that's all in response to this sort of thing.

10.  Ms. McArdle enters the lion's den, and says a lot of things that make sense. She will be publicly shamed for this, of course. The comments will be worth reading, if you like unintentional self-parody by half-wits.

11. Interesting commentary on the nature of competition. Neo-classical conception is that everyone is a price-taker. The "main line" economics answer (thanks, Peter Boettke) is that there are viable alternatives available to consumers. The point is that price-setters can still be disciplined by "competition," if regulators will allow it.

12.  It is far more likely, ridiculously more likely, that your child will be hurt in your house or in your car, than standing alone in a park or walking on a street. But so many people virtue signal ("I care") about nonsense.  We think nothing of the child being in our house, or car. Because the chances of danger are not THAT high there. The point is that the chance of your child being snatched by a stranger are much LESS than that. Kids should be free range.



13.  Your dog is MORE human than you think. Or, maybe less.

14. Understanding trade deficits.  And some more.

15. "Ghosting" employers. You can understand why young people might do this, because they feel they are not being respected or valued by employers. But it hastens the "gig economy."

16.  It's one measure of a society to look at how many of its citizens are caged up like animals. But its even worse when nearly 3/4 of the people put in cages have not even been convicted of a crime.

17.  The English Premier League is capitalist. The NBA is socialist.

18. The Koch brothers have principles. You may not agree with them, or not all of them. But this is a strange way to write about the attempt to shame CGK by saying he is not Trump ENOUGH.

19.  Alcohol and caffeine made civilization.

20. One thing that Ayn Rand and Immanuel Kant agreed on was this: your moral principle must generalize. This one doesn't .

21. I don't know that Harry Truman checked out Mozart while he did Tae Bo. But his story does remind us that there's room to grow.

22. Syndrome E



Grand Lagniappe:  This seems okay. But what if the "earth moves" because...well....you know. What then? (UPDATE: My "friend" Megan McArdle of the Wapo commented that I was too old to be jumping on the bed. It's good to have friends, isn't it?)




Monday, July 23, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!



1.  What sort of person does this? It's not like running a red light. There was no chance of this working out well.

2.  There has to be more to this story.  The "she's from Ukraine, they do things differently there" defense seems weak to me. A bit different viewpoint here. I do have to say that anyone who has been around a toddler for more than about an hour has considered hanging as a solution.....

3.  Trump is wrong about the EU. But he is not entirely wrong about NATO.

4.  There is little to no evidence that voluntary pre-K programs do any good. All the positive results come from non-random assignment, meaning that educated and motivated parents are likely the cause, NOT the pre-K program. A randomized trial finds no effect. The problem: the main difference is educational environment in the home the kids are NOT staying home at.  Pre-K has to help some children, it's just hard to find a way to measure that accurately.

5.  The policy of restricting or taxing plastic bags does essentially zero good. It is however (1) inconvenient and (2) pleasing to people who like to suffer inconvenience as a way of showing their love for the earth in pointless, and therefore religiously useful, ways.

6.  A problem with the "road" to liberty.  You might want to be a directionalist, like I am.

7. Iga is having a ninja shortage.

8.  At least the Manchurian Candidate PRETENDED he cared about the U.S.  This guy, not so much.

9.  MoovMo.

10.   Russia gets another pass.

11.  "Places of Persistence: Slavery and the Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States."

12.  Putting the "crow" into necrophilia.


13.  It's just cultural appropriation to impose your own, multicultural standards on the great works of the past. Some humility, younglings....

14.  This is not the Onion. This guy actually thinks that trolling people on the web is the key to success in mass elections.  No, really, he does.

15. Slavery did not make the U.S. rich. It made some people rich, and a lot of others poor.

16. The loss of a common culture. I don't think Deneen is entirely right, but he is certainly NOT entirely wrong.

17.  Not sure this is real. But it may be.

18. The tide of free speech....has it turned, on college campuses?

19.  All campaign strategies are local....

20.  My piece for the "The Hill," on UBI.

21. I'm sorry, ma'am. You've been deleted. Wow.

22. Cutest thing you'll see today: This little girl saw an abandoned broken water heater at the curb, waiting to be taken away. She thought it was a robot. And the cuteness ensued.

23. Why haven't higher wages (at the top end) reduced work hours? An interesting commentary on price effects and income effects of labor "supply." Or, are you willing to pay $1,000 an hour to go sailing? Even if you are really rich?

24. Why?  A drive-by bicycle shooting.

25. The road to socialism: Venezuela.

26. Black Jeopardy on SNL. One of them (the best, I think). Then anotherA third. Like all good comedy, it's partly mocking something directly. But it's also got some things that make your skin crawl and think about why that's not actually funny.

27.  Trans men on being men, compared to being women.

28. Talent

This, from V. Postrel.   What's more inclusive than extreme, semi-religious food taboos in the workplace?  The grand lagniappe, from Randy Simmons, in reaction to VP's article:









Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

Sorry to have been away. But I've been away. First in Erlangen and Munich, Germany. Then in Edmonton, in Northern Alberta.  Both really fun.  Back in Raleigh now....

To the links.... 

1.  Amazing application of pure fairness. The town would benefit from using an auction instead. And the individuals who "win" the lottery would benefit from allowing a secondary market. So, an interesting example for class.  The graveyard lottery, in Germany.

2. Why are wages not rising? Of course, in some areas, they are.

3.  George Will writes a column on baseball. And I like it. Perhaps neither of those things is surprising.  But it is a REALLY good column.

4.  Hindcasting global population densities reveals forces enabling the origin of agriculture

5.   Right to try.

6.  Nipples.

7.  The WaPo is upset with the Oklahoma incident because two citizens responded and killed the shooter. Apparently the faster action that likely saved lives is LESS important than the fact that having armed citizens made the situation "more complicated for police." As if our objective is primarily to make life simple for police. Citizens are pretty much on their own. As we already know....

8.  Dude had a bad day.  Why in the world was he insisting they pull over? Anyway, it didn't go well.

9.  I'm going to guess that this sort of thing is quite common. We only know about it because of the police body cams.  If police want to be respected, they'll need to be respectable.  But it's hard, because the state provides conditions where the worst will always get on top.

10. Some people assume that wealth may substitute for genetic fitness, meaning that rich morons will be over-represented in the population. But Mr. Darwin has ways of taking care of that. (The guy didn't die. But he did learn some wisdom, I hope).

11. Starfish v. Spider education systems.

12. Guilds? There is no guarantee that the "firm" in its traditional form is optimal in the non-traditional future....

13. Not only is "Dead Salmon" a color, the producer is unironically (I think) doubling down on it as being "magical."

14.  "How White People Handle Diversity Training." This may not be entirely true, but I bet it's also not entirely false.

15. Since it is not easy to climb up out of poverty, it almost HAS to be true that a dogged belief that one CAN climb up out of poverty is a prerequisite.

16. That word "foe" you keep using. President Trump, I don't think it means what you think it means.

17. Realistic Marketing: Bird Scooter edition.

18.  I have colleagues at Duke who sincerely believe that Cuba's labor system is non-exploitative, and that Cuba's health care system is the best in the world. These claims are both absurd.

19.  A better way to run schools...

20.  Okay, goodONya and all, mates. But does "naked gay farmer" really evoke "mental health" as an association, in the minds of most people? On the other hand, they are likely right that it makes people pay attention.

The Grand Lagniappe, Copa Mundial edition: 538 takes another one in the shorts. The average goals scored per game this Cup tournament was about 2.65.  The standard deviation was about 1.2 goals (actually, it was less than that, but let's say.)  That means that 538 made an almost 3 sigma error, assuming even then that "very few goals" is equal to "average number of goals."  Why do we even have a government, if people are allowed to make such bad predictions?











Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Bluewater and the LMM


So. The YYM drove over to the beach compound for the night. We went for dinner, because that's what you do. Went to Bluewater, a tourist place but with a very nice view of the IntWat. I wore my "Dad clothes."

The LMM took a photo, but I can't post it, on which more anon. Will try, though. As soon as we sat down, the LMM decided that she would like to be the center of attention, as befits a Queen exiled to wed a commoner like me. So she kicked both her sweater and her purse into the ocean.

(Two things: 1. Why did she have a sweater? It's 95 and direct, bright sun where we are sitting. If you have to ask that, you don't know the LMM. She always needs a sweater. 2. Okay, she didn't kick it into the ocean. She kicked it into the IntWat. Nonetheless, there it was ten feet below the rail where we were peering over at it, floating, a purse/sweater clump of flotsam in nasty saltwater. Not Jetsam. Flotsam. Words have meanings....)

The LMM appeared to believe that if she just yelled LOUDLY enough at the purse/sweater clump, it would magically do what she wanted. To be fair, this works at our house, but then she is dealing with me, or the dogs, and we are all afraid of her, and have some capacity for independent movement. If she yells at home, then action is taken and things get done.

"I dropped my purse! I dropped my purse!" And pointing. Everything in the large restaurant stopped, and I think some people up on the highway bridge likely looked out their windows. The LMM is not large, but she has considerable vocal puissance.

I jumped heavily over the rail, and landed heavily down on the dock. Unsurprislingly, another fellow, aroused by the yelling, also jumped over the rail, and got there faster. (He was not as heavy). He fetched the flotsam, and delivered it to the LMM, dripping (the flotsam was dripping, not the guy, and not the LMM).

All the tables (well, the people AT the tables) around us started telling each other of times that they had had something similar happen. And giving advice about how to save the iPhone (rice. Always with the rice). Anyway, before long a little kid at the next table tipped over a big glass of iced tea, and won the "new center of attention award" away from the LMM. But for a few minutes, she was the "It Girl" of the Bluewater.

I'll try to post the pictures, if the rice works. We used the LMM's phone to take the pictures..... (With thanks to Donna Gingerella for the entertainment portion of the dinner, and a show).

Monday, June 25, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!



1.  Interesting question: given that the "public" (that is, developers and construction companies) side is well-funded by tax dollars used for advertising and "education" programs about mass transit, is it illegitimate for private groups to try to balance the scale?  Even if it is the Kochs?  So-called mass transit tends to benefit wealthy neighborhoods whose residents want to go to sports events or go shopping.  If we really cared about mass transit, we'd end the stupid parking restrictions on new housing.  There is no "right" to free parking in densely populated urban areas. Just end the parking requirement, and the demand for mass transit will no longer be artificially suppressed by public policy.

2.  Rats devalue currency. I'm sure George Selgin has some Fed metaphor for us, but in this case its literally true.

3,  Wife sends husband back to jail.  She was right to do so, but still.

4.  Roger Stone is concerned that he might be indicted, because that would "suggest culpability."  Yes, yes, it would.  I understand the charges could be frivolous, and have to have innocent until proven guilty. But it would indeed be a bad sign if he is indicted.  I wonder if it's just a tactic to charge him with something, get him to plead guilty for immunity, and so on.

5.  Who are you going to believe? That outraged woman or some lying verbatim audio recording?

6.  If this is true, it is remarkable. And bad.

7. Rubies are red, sapphires are blue, but the Times just said, they're actually really the same mineral.

8. Prices, products, and wage stagnation. (tl;dr:  wages didn't stagnate) 

9. The case for free trade is unilateral. The case for free trade is unilateral. The case..... No, really, it's unilateral.  We should cut trade barriers even if our trading partners don't. If they want to tax their citizens, they get to do that. It says so in "The Big Boy Book of Governments."

10.  American see "media bias" everywhere. And they are not pleased.

11.  This is an actual refereed journal article. No, really. The dead cat is listed as a coauthor.

12.  Jubilee!  Or, pot jubilee, at least.  (In Hebrew tradition, Jubilee was a debt forgiveness year. Interesting incentive problems....)

13. There's a decent chance that within the next year Trump will start appearing in public wearing a uniform designed by some famous designer.  A military uniform.  If we keep doing stuff like this.

14. America is an idea. But it is not ONLY an idea.... And the part that is not an idea is fragile.

15.  Law schools need a new governance model.

16. The arguments for a "grand bargain" on immigration are not getting better.

17.  The Texas Health Department....standing for truth in pickles

Grand Lagniappe:  C'mon. Is it REALLY a surprise? I think we all knew....  Every once in a while, the cat gets a signal from the mother ship: "YOU ARE IN THE WRONG ROOM!  RUN!"  And off it goes, with an insane look on its "face." Alien.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links

1.  News flash: People with below average income have below average income.  Seriously, these folks are shocked that poor people can't afford middle class stuff.  Does "middle class" just have no meaning?

2.  A list of summer reading lists.

3.  Why Canada should pay for blood plasma.

4.  It's raining octopus. That can't be right.

5.   J-Sess, the most evil AG in American history, actually quotes the Bible to support breaking up families.  If only there were some religion where the hero had been forced to hide from authorities were out to kill all the male children, and then had to live illegally under persecution. Maybe then we could understand people better. Or maybe if J-Sess had actually read Romans 13, all the way to verse 10, instead of just using the Cliff's Notes.

6. Netflix has a new "5 second rule." No eyeballin', there.

7.  Florida Man!

8.  Canada: You suck. Trinity Western decision is a blot on your copybook.

9.  Snake swallows woman whole.  I'm not convinced this is real. But it certainly is horrible.

10. Supermoon, in NYC.

11.  The "Data Science" course segment the EYM taught in Colombia.

12. The "Matthew Effect." Particularly prevalent, apparently, when a relatively unknown person, often a woman, is cited by a more famous person, often a man.  Later work cites the famous person who didn't actually do anything.

13.  Heterodox Academy. Full disclosure: I signed up.

14.  Not all sharing is done through markets. But much of it is now done through some software platform....

15.  Father Long's Sacred Nugget.

16.  This is a thing. Why?

Grand Lagniappe: Happy Father's Day to ME!






Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Supermoon

In NYC, the EYM took us to visit "Supermoon."  It's....well, it's this.

After we ordered (the pastries were, I grudgingly admit, fantastic, really something special) and while we were waiting for our order. There was a commotion.

A 40 year old woman and an extremely overdressed and overly made-up young woman (looked 15, could have been 22) came in and started demanding to speak to the manager. They wanted "...a box, for photographs. She's a blogger!" pointing to the younger woman.  I had never heard "S/he's a blogger!" used as an argument for "give me free stuff!" before, so I felt I was missing out.

They kept loudly demanding a free box of pastries and the chance to do some photos, because (and I'm totally serious) "She's a blogger!" This was said at least ten times, in an increasingly loud voice.

Eventually the manager came out, made the crazed women give back all the display items they had decided to just steal, and gave them a box with some pastries. The older woman took a bunch of photos of the young woman pretending to take bites, affecting surprise and / or delight, and so on. Then they finally left, after throwing away all the untouched pastries and the box they came in.

I got the EYM to take my picture, in front of the Supermoon boxes. And, I want the whole world to know:  "I'm a blogger! Give me free stuff!"


Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!


1. Lincicome talks to Goldberg.

2. State tax reform has had variable success, and failure.

3.  A good video. Not a great video, won't change your life. But some interesting info.

4.  Nick. On Tom.

5.  I've come to believe that most statements that start "Millenials LOVE....." or "Millenials HATE....." are usually pretty dumb, regardless of how the blank is filled in. But it is fair to ask: SHOULD Millenials love the market?

6.  Domestic disturbance in Germany. Man yelling at parrot, who won't shut up. But parrot doesn't say any words, though it can bark like a dog.  So it was more like man yelling at dog that wouldn't stop barking, though of course the dog was a parrot.

7.  Is tattooing actually beneficial, at least for the immune system?

8.  In praise of stolid clothing.  And Brooks Brothers.

9. The ideology of business schools.

10.  Remember how the History Channel used to show actual history?  And TLC was actually about learning? Then this happened.

11.  The complete NYU hooding ceremony. If you are interested, the EYM transcends corporeal form and evolves into pure energy at about 1:26:20 and thereafter....

12.  Selective exposure to misinformation: A Guess-Nyhan-Reifler joint.

13. Against libertarianism: A reading list

14. Nancy hanging with Mitch, and J-Mac hanging with Paul W.

15.  MAO'G on Maduro and Venezuela.






Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday's Child is Full of Links!







1.  Mummified monkey found in air duct. In Minneapolis museum.  In an AIR DUCT. I have to think that the month between the monkey dying and the monkey being moderately mummified had to be pretty smelly.  But maybe it was an exhaust duct?  Still....ew.

2.  And why would you have a gun in your "belly band" (?) while you roughhouse with your dog?  I qualified for a concealed carry permit. But I don't carry. Guns are dangerous. You are obliged, if you are going to carry a gun, to behave differently.  The poor pup was a lab/pit mix. Quite a sturdy fellow, I bet.

3.  what American history can teach us. David Brady's thoughts....

4.  AI and the end of capitalism.  Always with this end of capitalism stuff.  For Marx, it was industrialization. Far from the end of capitalism, it was the spreader of capitalism.

5.  Where is L-Mo gon git his tea and vegan muffin now?

6.  This is pretty amazing. Why would the black woman have to show her ID, when cops did not ask for the ID of the white woman.  If you have to show ID, then everyone has to show ID.

7.  Ollie.  Oh, Ollie. No, I don't think there is a useful comparison between NRA members and black citizens trying to live in Jim Crow.

8. The Middle East today is as complex, and dangerous, as central Europe in 1914. Or so sayeth LeBron.

9. "Assault weapons," explained.

10.  My good friend John Hood explains something that is hard to explain. Freedom is actually an economic strategy. And a good one.

11.  Wallets and return rates. A simple, not entirely scientific, but interesting experiment.

12.  Odd racial split: should NCAA athletes be paid?

13.  This is not news. French people believe that the collective is more important than individual freedoms.  Duh. The problem is always that "collective values" is just what *You* believe.  If the minority ever becomes the majority they'll be squealing Lockeans in a heartbeat.

14.  Amazingly, this IS news: Law School Faculty at L&CU vote to uphold academic freedom.

15.  Not sure this is correct. But the larger point, that it is PRECISELY people without language skills or economic skills who have become U.S. citizens, is clearly right. Nicholas Munger arrived in Guilford Colony in CT in 1651 (or so) and he had nothing.  But I'm glad he left. County Surrey in southern England was no place for a poor boy to try to live a life.

16. When disrespect by "elites" is a sign of merit, then only those with merit will be disrespected by elites. More simply, the constant gotchas and corrections by the self-important influencers of our established institutions of the left actually make people like Trump MORE .

17. Ben Stein does a FB remake.

18. One way to have more affordable housing would be to allow more housing.

19.  Amar has a good point. But it's not a GREAT point.   Things have to be pretty bad indeed before it's not possible for bumbling or meddling state action to make them much worse. 

20.    just not true.

21. Toys were Us.

22.  Lines from "Princess Bride" that are useful in grading student compositions....

23. 



The Grand Lagniappe:  Adam Dunn, King of the Four True Outcome Players.  The reason this is important is that now MLB is full of Adam Dunn wannabes.